I’m not much of a handyman, but in my garage is a tool box. There’s nothing fancy inside. Basically, I have a hammer, screwdriver, wrench and tape measure. That’s it. But I can get a lot done with those basic tools.
In my leadership development tool box, I have a basic set of questions I use. They are my go-to tools. Because I love developing leaders, I do have some fancy questions in my tool box too. Questions that I love to pull out and use on occasion to really drive something deep into someone’s thinking. There are some I like to use that I know will shake them up and make people think at a significant level.
But the truth is, leaders can get the development job done with just these 4 basic questions:
WHAT DID YOU DO WELL?
This question helps you and the leader you’re developing to have a better understanding of the current baseline of their strengths and how to maximize them.
WHAT COULD YOU HAVE DONE BETTER?
This question helps you and the leader see their gaps and learning opportunities.
WHAT WILL YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
This question pushes a leader to develop action steps that will help them grow in their leadership skill. Identifying gaps without identifying a plan will not produce growth.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?
This question enables the leader to articulate critical leadership lessons they’re gaining from their experience.
There are other more fancy questions you can use, but to be honest, you can do a great job building a leader with just these 4 basic questions.
Video: 4 Habits that Develop Your Credibility as a Trainer